“But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself….how could you do a thing like this, you weren’t lying to us, but to God!” Acts 5:1-4 NLT. Could Peter see straight through to Ananias’s heart? Jesus Could…but Ananias didn’t have a chance to change his heart,because as soon as he heard what Peter said…“He fell to the floor and died.” Acts 5:5 NLT
There are times when I know that my heart is not right…sometimes I think that someone can see right through me…just as Peter saw through Ananias…did he know him that well that he could? Rebukes from a friend are hard. Can I humble myself enough to accept it, even welcome it, so that my heart is changed?
“Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery...An open rebuke is better than hidden love!…Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy…The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense…As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 29:11 & 27:5,6,9 &17 NLT
I have been blessed to have deep friendships in my life. Friends who point me toward Jesus and challenge me to change. I don’t know where I would be without them. They keep me on track. They know my struggles and I can tell them anything. It’s rare to find and truly a gift.
Who do you have in your life to hold you accountable?
Dear Jesus, thank you so much for the gift of friendship. Help me to keep my heart humble so that I would be willing to change. Thank you that you know my heart and love me even when it is a mess. Thank you for your love, mercy and forgiveness. Amen